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Nyonya Fish Maw Soup

Nyonya Fish Maw Soup Recipe

Cooking time varies for different types of fish maw so adjust accordingly. For example, threadfin fish maw generally require about 15-20 minutes while regular ones may take about 30-45 minutes. Cook the fish maw until soft but not mushy.


  • 100 grams minced pork (chicken)
  • 2 liters chicken stock see cooking tip below for home-made stock recipe
  • 25 grams fried fish maw soak in hot water until softened, cut to bite-sized pieces
  • 8 dried Japanese mushrooms soak caps in hot water until softened, squeeze out excess water
  • half carrot peeled & sliced thinly (optional: cut to flower shapes)
  • half head Chinese round cabbage cut to bite-sized lengths
  • 10 fish balls
  • half can baby abalone optional, may add abalone stock to the soup

(A) Marinade

  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 dashes white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil



  1. Marinade minced pork with (A) for at least 10 minutes in the fridge. Use a spoon to roughly shape them into small balls.
  2. In a large soup pot, bring chicken stock to boil. Add fish maw, mushrooms and carrots. Simmer for 15 minutes, add cabbage and continue simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Add fish balls, marinated meat balls and baby abalone. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the fish balls float to the surface.
  4. Ladle soup to serving bowls and top with fried shallots and spring onions.

Cooking Tip

To make home-made stock, simmer the following in a large pot for at least an hour: 3 litres water, 500 grams pork bones, 1 to 2 chicken carcass bone, 3 dried scallops and a small handful of rinsed ikan bilis placed in a soup stock pouch

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9 comments on “Nyonya Fish Maw Soup”

  1. Can’t even remember when I last saw or had some fish maws. The soup looks so tasty.

  2. I have heard from aunts that we can puff up fish maw with microwave, without deep frying in oil.

    Might you know anything about it? I tried to Google but can’t find any tips…

    • I’ve not made my own fried fish maw from scratch before since they are readily available. Love to read more about the microwave technique too if anyone can share more info.

  3. I did not know there is standard fish maw and threadfin fish maw. For me, I just eat the fish maw :P

    This dish also reminded me of CNY.

  4. Hi! May i know with regards to the pork bones that you mentioned in your comments, r you refering to soup bones or just the bones with no meat? Thank you!

    • use pork bones if you don’t intend to eat the meat. They are cheap, usually about $2 for a small bag. If you want to eat the meat, then get spare ribs which comes with meat-on.

  5. Soak in room temp tap water can?

    • should be ok for easy-to-soften type of fish maw such as threadfin fish maw. For the regular or harder types, hot water is more effective to soften them before cooking.

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